Today we’re taking a break from centerpieces, wedding cakes and color palettes to reflect on how far Warrenwood has come over the years. We always talk about how we started restoring Warrenwood in 2014, but… More
The Warrenwood Manor barn isn’t often the center of attention when we talk about the history and architecture of the property, but it should be. The house at Warrenwood is gorgeous, but the barn has its own charm and intrigue as well. We just don’t know as much about the barn’s past as we do about the house. It is believed to have been built in the early 1900’s as one of two, maybe even three large barns on the property. At one point the barn was painted white and green, but it was black and white when we purchased it. That is pretty much all we know. When renovations began in 2014 the barn had a dirt floor, horse stalls, a large grain bin and a full hay loft. There were holes in the roof and every door was either missing or broken. As changes were made we took every opportunity to maintain the character of the structure. We also salvaged every piece of old wood we could, most of which is a beautiful tongue and groove oak, for use on other property projects. These are a few photos to show how far we have come.
We did some major sprucing up for my wedding in October 2014, but a lot of work happened over the winter of 2014 and 2015. Since then gradual improvements have turned the Warrenwood barn into a rustic charmer. We now have concrete floors, string lights and chandeliers under a new roof. Over the winter, we even added on a men’s restroom, women’s restroom and a prep kitchen for caterers in order to bring the entire space up to all Kentucky occupancy code requirements. The barn has become the main event space comfortably seating 180 guests for a reception. It provides a dry place for events regardless of the weather. Housing either the ceremony and/or reception, the barn has taken on so many different looks over the past two years. Here is a peek at some of our favorite moments in and around the barn.
Photography by: Becky Willard Photography, Tara Young Photography, Honey Heart Photography, Rainwater Photography, KM Russel Photography, Christy Lee Photography, The King’s Daughter Photography, Hilly Photography, Kevin & Anna Photography, Daring Tales Darling Bones, Diverse Photographers, Leah Barry Photography, Erin Trimble Photography, Jessica Moore Photography, Ben Keeling Photography, Legacy Art Photography and Videography and Cassie Lopez Photography
At Warrenwood Manor, we like to say that we honor the past by celebrating the future. We celebrate marriages, babies, birthdays and all that these occasions mean for the future. Meanwhile, guests get to experience and appreciate first hand the beautiful, craftsmanship and charm of what the past has made of the Warrenwood estate. As so many old homes are being demolished, we are thankful to have found a way to keep Warrenwood thriving.
The Beginning of Warrenwood Manor
In 1785 Captain William Warren, a Revolutionary War Soldier, purchased 304 acres of land. This purchase included the 100 acres upon which Warrenwood Manor now sits. It wasn’t until 1856 that descendants of Captain Warren, John Fouche Warren and Samuel Wilcox Warren, would commission the construction of the house.
Warrenwood is one of three Gothic villas, including the Helm-Gentry House and the Mound Cottage, constructed between 1852 and 1856 in the Danville area. All three homes were modeled after the Elley Villa of Lexington and roughly based on sketches published by A. J. Downing and A. J. Davis. The builder of these villas is unknown, but they were probably designed and built by the same architect due to their similarities. It is believed possible that the houses were constructed by Robert Russell Jr., a local Danville builder, who is attributed with the construction of most of the early brick structures in the area.
The home rests on a foundation of stone allowed to settle for two years before the bricks were laid. The dark red bricks that make up the home’s exterior and interior walls were made on the property and laid four deep in the thinnest parts of the walls. Lumber, cut from the property, was used to construct rooms measuring eighteen feet square and ceilings fourteen feet high. The front door, surrounded by leaded, Venetian glass opens to a large hall lit by two Venetian hall lamps. Solid walnut details include doors throughout the house, window facings, massive mantels and the banister ascending to the third floor.
The Warrenwood home is full of elegance and southern charm around every corner. Warrenwood, along with the Helm-Gentry House and the Mound Cottage were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 for their architectural and historical significance. Over time additions were made to the back of the house, but the main structure has remained remarkably intact and serves as a snapshot of the past.
The Recent History of Warrenwood Manor
Warrenwood Manor was loving restored in 2014 before opening for it’s first wedding season in 2015. It is and will always be a work in progress, but that is part of the charm. After sitting empty for almost a decade, we like to think that Warrenwood loves being filled again with love and laughter every weekend. By the end of it’s third year of operation, Warrenwood will have hosted nearly 100 weddings and countless other events. Below we share some of the most stunning images taken in and around the Warrenwood home over then past two years.
Photography Credits to: Unveiled Studio, Daring Tale of Darling Bones, Ben Keeling Photography, KM Russel Photography, Christy Lee Photography, Jessica Moore Photography, Emily Wakin Photography, Leah Barry Photography, Rainwater Photography, Becky Willard Photography, Honey Heart Photography, Cassie Lopez Photography, Erin Trimble Photography, Hilly Photography and Legacy Art Photography & Videography
Y’all I cannot get over this spring wedding! I’m serious! It’s been over a year now since Megan and Jason tied the knot, but I still can’t get over how this spring wedding was just so perfect in every way. And not just because Megan is my sister-in-law, but because this sweet couple made sure that their wedding day celebrated their marriage and who they are. Plus, all the details and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect! A beautiful, yet simple afternoon wedding with pops of color and personal touches is just what we all need today, right?
- Photographer | Cassie Lopez Photography
- Floral Design | Doug Smith Design + Events
- Hair & Make-up | Something Blu
- Catering | Melton’s Great American Deli
- Cake & Cupcakes | Sweets by Cindy
- DJ | All Music D.J.
- Officiant | Dave Rizer of Southland Christian Church
- Rentals | Bryant’s Rent-All
- Wedding Signs | Marketplace Gray
- Invitations | Simply Done Invites
In honor of the upcoming Kentucky Derby festivities, we’re celebrating everything Kentucky proud on the blog today. We are so luck to live in a state with great people and rich traditions. I believe every event, year-round, should have a healthy dose of Kentucky culture.
When you think of Kentucky cuisine think southern soul recipes meets farm fresh
ingredients. A stereotypical event in the Bluegrass state should start with beer cheese, pimento cheese and/or benedictine spread. Other signature menu items include the Kentucky hot brown, fried chicken, country ham & biscuit, green beans and cheesy grits.
To do these menu items justice, you will want locally produced ingredients. Use the Kentucky Proud Producer website to find all the produce and products you need. Many Kentucky caterers are willing to find local providers if you’re going with a caterer for your event.
Don’t forget the sweet treats. You can never go wrong by serving Derby Pie, but Kentucky has so many tasty options when it comes to locally produced candies and chocolates too. Some of my favorites are Ruth Hunt Candies, Old Kentucky Chocolates, Mom Blakeman’s Candy and Sharp’s Candies of Kentucky. For your event, you could give a combination of your favorites as a party favor or do a candy bar where guests can try what all sorts of yummies.
Kentucky is blessed to be home to the rich tradition and thriving market of bourbon distilling. As a result there are countless distilleries in Kentucky that
make the best bourbon money can buy. Therefore, a Kentucky proud event would be incomplete without a bar stock with the likes of Maker’s Mark, Four Roses Bourbon, Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Woodford Reserve Distillery, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Bulleit, Michter’s, Booker’s, Knob Creek, and Blanton’s.
If you are more of a beer connoisseur, Kentucky has a budding craft beer industry lead by West Sixth Brewing, Country Boy Brewing, Against the Grain Brewery, Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. and Falls City Beer. To figure out what beers you want to have at your event head over to The Casual Pint in downtown Lexington to taste all the best Kentucky options.
Bourbon isn’t just for the bar. You can use bourbon barrels in place of cocktail tables or for your cake table. You could even collect bourbon bottles to use as centerpieces. There are also a million (that is only a slight exaggeration) other re-purposed barrel products that can be purchased or made for your event.
Buy local blooms. Three Toads Farm, Black Rooster Farm, Meadowview Flowers, Bellaire Blooms, and Falling Springs Flower Farm grow high quality flowers here in the Bluegrass. Take the Kentucky vibes up one more notch by arranging your local blooms in a vintage trophy cup, stoneware crock, mason jar or mint julep cup.
Include equestrian inspired details. Think stirrups, bits, horseshoes, vintage competition ribbons and leather accents. Use these items to create character, not clutter. You don’t want to over do it so be creative in how you use these accents to make a statement.
Embrace all things vintage. Find and use old books, vases, platters, china and anything else tastefully vintage you can find. These items add interest, character and charm to the look of your Kentucky proud event. With such a rich and diverse history, there are so many
Keep it natural. Kentucky is naturally beautiful, so let it speak for itself at your event. Choose a natural color palette, embrace elements from your surroundings and host your event outside if the weather permits.
A Kentucky event would be incomplete without the sound of a banjo, fiddle, washboard and the like playing some traditional bluegrass songs. Get back to the roots of what makes Kentucky, Kentucky with a live Bluegrass band or a DJ who knows their way around the classics. Your playlist should include musical legends like John Prine, Bill Monroe and Loretta Lynn as well as current Kentucky artists such as Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton. You could also add these 13 songs about Kentucky to your playlist.
Have fun hosting your quintessential Kentucky event! Comment below if you have suggestions to add.
When you try something new you just never know exactly how things are going to turn out. So on April 8th, we had no idea what to expect when we hosted our very first open house. Would people come? Would vendors be interested? Would we get support from the Danville community? Luckily, the answer to all these questions was yes! We had over 200 guests tour the Warrenwood Manor grounds during the event and we couldn’t be more thankful to everyone! The weather was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t have ask for more support, love and encouragement from everyone who attended!
- Couples who are already booked at Warrenwood used the open house as an opportunity to meet wedding professionals and discuss the floor plan and logistics for their event.
- Couples interested in having their wedding at Warrenwood toured the property and got more information about what Warrenwood has to offer.
- Wedding professionals were able to see what’s new at Warrenwood and mingle with potential clients.
- The general public was delighted to see what has become of this treasured local landmark. It was amazing to hear stories of how different people in the community have a connection to the history of Warrenwood and it’s former owners.
We couldn’t have done this event without our event sponsors. We all worked together to make Warrenwood look amazing and provide an experience that every guest could find something of interest.
Stems LLC provided 16 beautiful floral arrangements to dress up the venue. The large urn arrangement she did for the entry hall was just stunning.
Bryant’s Rent-All showcased four different table settings of varying styles and color palettes along with several linen and furniture rental options.
Chaplin River Catering, Dupree Catering + Events and Southern Plate Catering gave guests a sampling of what they do best. There was a fruit tray, veggie tray, cheese platter, finger sandwiches and mini hot browns just to name a few of the options.
Sweets by Cindy brought a tasty three-tier ivory naked cake along with mini cupcakes of three flavors. My favorite mini cupcake was Death by Chocolate, but the Butterscotch Bacon flavor was a hit too.
Keith & Melissa Photography were on-site during the event to capture all the details of the event. We have them to thank for all of these beautiful pictures! If you haven’t liked their page on Facebook or followed them on Instagram get on over there and do it!
If you weren’t able to make it to our event, here are some photos to give you a taste for what the day was like. Enjoy!
Tips for Making the Most of Wedding Helpers
Weddings are complicated. Emotions are high and there are just so many elements and people that have to come together to make the event a success. It is easy to get lost in the details, but always remember that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. If hiring everything done isn’t in the budget, don’t worry! Friends and family will be more than willing to step in to help if you are organized, considerate and appreciative. Here are some pointers to help you make the most of your time with your wedding weekend helpers!
- Make descriptive to-do lists that give clear directions. Be sure to include who, when, where and how to complete each task as well as a realistic estimate of the time it will take to finish.
- Make sure someone is in charge. Hire an event coordinator if possible, but if not find someone who is good at managing people and understands the vision you have for your wedding day.
- Post your event timeline, to-do lists and the contact information for whoever is in charge in a public place so everyone can see who is doing what and what still needs to be done. We recommend getting everyone on Google Docs in advance and then having a command center at the venue.
- Provide the proper resources and tools for your helpers to complete their task. It is always helpful to include pictures or sketches so people can visualize what you’re asking of them.
- Allow your volunteers to pick how to contribute to your wedding. It may be best to make suggestions based on their skills, but ultimately let them decide. AKA don’t give uncle Bobby the power lifter the job of tieing tiny ribbons on favor bags.
- Let people know in advance what they’ll be doing and practical details about their task, like what to wear, what time to arrive and how long they’ll be working.
- Respect your helpers’ time by not having too many or too few helpers. No one wants to just sit around because there isn’t enough work and no one wants to be stressed that they won’t be able to finish their job. But, for your sake error on the side of too many helpers.
- Make it fun for your helpers. Play music or have contests to keep the mood light and stress-free.
- Have drinks and snacks available for your volunteers. They are probably coming early for setup and staying late for cleanup so keep them hydrated and happy NOT hangry!
- There are so many ways to show your appreciation for the work your helpers did. You’re probably going to know the most appropriate and fitting option, but you could:
- Mention your helpers in speech or on the program
- Give them a special gift (doesn’t have to be anything big)
- Reserve prominent seats for them at your reception
- Host a dinner party after the event
- Don’t forget to return the favor or pay it forward. Be the first to volunteer to help when a friend or family member is planning an event or in need of help in any way.
Your goal should be for you and your helpers to stay as calm and stress-free as possible. You will want to be able to relax and enjoy your day. So, make the effort to be organized, considerate and appreciative before, during and after your event.
*Feature Photo by The King’s Daughter Photography
Warning: Viewing these beautiful wedding cakes may cause intense sweet treat cravings. You’ve been warned, but I promise it will be worth it because these cakes are gorgeous. Enjoy!
The central Kentucky area has so many talented bakers. Sweets by Cindy, Martine’s Pastries, Sweet LiLu’s, Tinker’s Cake Shop and Confused Confections Bakehouse have all provide cakes, cupcakes and/or desserts at Warrenwood Manor. I know we have not given every baker proper credit for their above cake(s) so if you made one of these cakes please comment below with your information. We want to make sure to support all the vendors that make our events possible.
Cake photos were taken by the following photographers (top to bottom, left to right):
- Leah Barry Photography
- Daring Tale of Darling Bones
- Photography by Jessica Moore
- Sarah Katherine Davis Photography
- Becky Willard Photography
- Christy Lee Photography
- Daring Tale of Darling Bones
- Erin Trimble Photography
- Ben Keeling Photography
- Grant Aumiller Photography
- Cassie Lopez Photography
- Legacy Art Photography & Cinematography
- Honey Heart Photography
- Hilly Photography
- Josephine May Photography
- Honey Heart Photography
- The King’s Daughter Photography
- Emily Wakin Photography
- Kevin & Anna Photography
- Becky Willard Photography
- Rainwater Photography
In September of 2016, Mary and Dan celebrated their marriage at Warrenwood Manor in a stately southern affair. Throughout the event charming, romantic touches brought personality to the timeless aesthetic of a blush, navy and white color palette. Every detail was fitting for this couple. In front of the cottage, Mary and Dan tied the knot in a ceremony that truly honored their strong religious foundation. Then they danced the night away in an upbeat barn reception. This sweet couple perfectly balanced fun and faith on their special day!
- Photographer- Leah Barry Photography
- Videographer- Cailley Harris Videography
- Caterer- Dunn’s BBQ
- DJ- Bluegrass Beats
- Hair & Makeup- Pink LouLou
- Rentals- Bryant’s Rent-All
Do you want to have your wedding at Warrenwood Manor? We’re now booking events for 2018! Check out our website for more information then contact us to arrange a tour.
Kaylon and John’s summer wedding was just so perfect I can’t even explain it! Kaylon knew exactly what she wanted for her big day from the very beginning and she made it happen in a big way. It was so awesome to see so many great people come together to make this wedding special. Really, the best part of my job is getting to know couples, their friends, and family. I loved working with Kaylon and John and getting to know those who love them most was a true joy! From their cowboy boots to their sparkler send off, this rustic farm wedding was just perfection from beginning to end!
- Photography: Rainwater Photography
- Floral Design: Debbie Bently
- Rentals: Bryant’s Rent-All
- Caterer: Hanley’s BBQ
- Cake: Kayleigh Adams, Cakes and Events
- Music: Soundwave
Hair & Makeup: Bloom Salon & Spa
Bride & Bridesmaid Jewelry: Southern Belle Glitz- Bridal & Boutique Jewelry
Bridesmaid Dresses: Francesca’s
- Flower Girl Dress: Children’s Place
A wedding ceremony can be vastly different from one couple to the next, but there are certain traditions that have withstood the test of time. You’ll definitely want to exchange rings, state your vows and share your first kiss. Even so, there is room for personality in every ceremony. Your ceremony can be short and sweet or lovingly longer. It can be formal or casual. It can be religious or non-denominational. The look, tone, and content of your ceremony can and should be personalized to fit you and your fiance.
Create a style for your wedding ceremony that represents who you and your fiance are as a couple. For example, if you’re simple and earthy have an outdoor ceremony with minimal decor. If you prefer a more polished, sophisticated look, opt for an indoor wedding ceremony with a classic color palette and more elaborate florals. Consider the following factors as you decide on a look for your event.
- Location: This is the single most influential decision you will make for the look of your ceremony. Do you have a “special place” you want to get married? If you want your ceremony outside, do you want it in a field, a garden, by the lake or under a tree? If you want it indoors, do you like the look of a museum, warehouse, hotel ballroom, barn or historic home? There are so many options, you just have to determine what fits you and your event best.
- Type of Seating: Hay bales, benches, folding chairs, mismatched antique chairs, and church pews all give a different vibe to your ceremony. Decide what goes with the atmosphere you are trying to create.
- Decor: Ceremony decor can include a guestbook table, aisle decor, alter decor as well as many other miscellaneous items. Including decor that means something to you, like Grandpa’s writing desk as the ceremony table, can really bring personality to your ceremony look. Remember more is more, but less is more sometimes too. (Does that make sense? Haha) Also, choose florals that reflect what you like. Some people just don’t like roses, for example, and it is totally fine not to use them.
- Wedding Party Attire: You can really make a statement with what you and your wedding party wear during the ceremony. The color palette, pattern, style, and level of formality accent the look of your ceremony.
Tone can be further described as the mood, the feel or the atmosphere of an event. The two major elements that contribute to the tone of your wedding ceremony are your music and your officiant.
- Music: Choose music that means something to you. For example, I had “Amazing Grace” play during the unity ceremony at my wedding. Everyone says it’s a funeral song, but it is one of mine and my grandmother’s favorite songs, so now it’s a wedding song! The song playing during your exit is a great opportunity to show some personality. You can also have family or friends preform during the ceremony for another personal touch.
- Officiant: The officiant you choose will set the tone for how religious or not your ceremony will be. Go with a church pastor, youth minister, religion professor or priest if you want a traditional service. There are many other options if you want a more non-denominational ceremony. Either way, it is usually best to choose an officiant that knows you well; it helps calm the nerves. Make sure you discuss whether or not you want stories, jokes and audience participation included in your ceremony.
The substance of your wedding ceremony says a lot about what you and your fiance care about and the message you want to send the world about the commitment you are making to each other. That sounds intense, but your officiant should be able to guide you through the process.
- Readings: Pick quotes and/or Bible verses that you love. It can be the quote on your fridge magnet that you live by every day, a lyric from a favorite song or something that’s stuck with you from a book you read years ago. Your officiant can help you if you don’t have a set quote in mind but know the essence of what you are trying to say.
- Your Vows: Some of you may opt to personalize vows by writing your own. This takes time and thought, but allows you to say exactly what you want. For those of you that tend to get emotional or think you may get really nervous, it may be best to stick with vows provided by your officiant.
- Unity Ceremony: A unity ceremony symbolizes the union of two individuals into one marriage. Not everyone decides to do a unity ceremony during their ceremony, but if you like the idea, you have a lot of different options. For example, you can do a candle lighting, mix colored sand or water, plant a tree, break a loaf bread or braid a cord of three strands. We’ve even had a couple take a shot of bourbon for their unity ceremony! You can be as creative as you want or go with a classic option.
My number one piece of advice for you is to be unapologetically yourself. Don’t give in to outside pressures to portray an idealized version of yourself for your guests. Embrace your individuality and your identity as a couple by personalizing your ceremony to your taste. It’s okay to adhere to standard practices, but empower yourself to skip any tradition that you don’t like, don’t believe in or don’t care about.
Feature photo by Jessica Moore Photography.